Simple Life Tote Bag Tutorial
If you're looking for an easy tote bag pattern, free patterns don't get much better than this one! Follow this tote bag sewing tutorial from Monaluna and learn not only how to make a tote bag with lining, but with a flat bottom, too! This pattern is so easy. All you need to do is cut your coordinating fabrics down to size and sew it together with your interfacing. You'll need to know the sewing basics before beginning, but any experienced beginner should be able to complete this project. Enjoy having your very own homemade tote bag!
Be sure to ENTER TO WIN the Monaluna Fabric Bundle to use while making this project! Leave a comment on this page and you will receive a bonus entry. Don't miss the grand prize giveaway including one of each prize featured in the 12 Days of Christmas!
Time to CompleteWeekend project
Project TypeMake a Project
- 2/3 yard cotton canvas
- 8x8” Square or scrap of contrasting canvas
- 3/4 yard cotton poplin or lining weight fabric
- 1 ¼ yard craft weight fusible interfacing
- 100 inches sturdy cotton webbing
- Coordinating thread (I used white)
From your canvas:
2 15x15” squares (front and back)
2 5x15” pieces (sides)
1 5x15” piece (bottom. This piece can have a different orientation if prints are directional)
1 8x8” piece (pocket)
From your poplin:
2 15x15” squares
3 5x15” pieces
1 10x10” pocket
From your interfacing:
2 15x15” squares
3 5x15” pieces
Cut all pieces to size.
Apply interfacing to the wrong side of your canvas pieces following manufacturer’s instructions.
Prepare the inside pocket: fold your 10x10” square in half, with the fold at the top. Press side and bottom edges 3/8” to the wrong side.
With the finished side up, center the pocket on the back lining piece, about 3” below the top edge, and pin in place. Topstitch down one side, across the bottom and up the opposite side, about 1/8” from edge. If desired, measure 3” in from the right edge of the pocket and topstitch an additional vertical seam to divide the pocket into 2 compartments.
With right sides facing, join the front lining piece o the bottom lining piece with a ½” seam allowance, beginning and ending your seam ½” from the raw edges. Then join the bottom to the back lining piece in the same manner, to form a long rectangle. Then, pin the sides in place, matching edges and corners. Stitch with a 1/2” seam allowance, pivoting at the corners and carefully moving the seam allowance out of the way of stitching.
On the second side, stop stitching 2” up from the bottom and back stitch. Leave a 3” gap, and resume stitching to the top. This will be your turning hole when you finish the bag. When you finish stitching, clip the corners to reduce bulk.
Prepare the outer pocket: Fold the top edge of the canvas pocket piece (8x8” square) 3/8” to the wrong side, and then fold over again, encasing the raw edge. Topstitch ¼” from top edge.
Center the pocket on the front canvas piece, 3 ½” from each side edge, with the bottom raw edges matching. Center your 50” cut of webbing on top of the pocket edges, with the raw edges matching the bottom edges. The outside edge of the webbing should be about 3” in from the front sides.
Stitch very close to each edge of the webbing, stopping and backstitching 1” from the top edge of the bag.
Repeat on the back side of the bag, making sure that the webbing is in the same position as it is on the front side.
Sew the canvas outer bag. Using the same process, stitch the front canvas piece to the bottom and the bottom to the back with a 1/2” seam allowance, stopping and starting your stitching ½” from the edges. Press seam allowance toward the bottom panel.
Then pin in and stitch the side panels. This time, don’t leave a gap for turning but stitch all the way to the top. Clip the corners.
Turn the canvas bag right side out, and press or finger press the seams.
Put the right-side-out bag inside the wrong-side-out lining bag (so that right sides of fabric are facing), matching the raw top edges and side seams, and being sure to tuck the webbing handles out of the way. Pin and stitch all the way around the top with a ½” seam allowance.
Gently pull the canvas bag out through the turning hole and open out. Stitch the turning hole closed.
Fold the lining to the inside of the bag and press the bag, particularly around the top edge, making sure that the lining is completely turned to the inside of the bag.
Topstitch all the way around the top of the bag, sewing over the webbing straps, ½” from the top edge.
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